Langston Hughes Harlem

Decent Essays
“Harlem” by Langston Hughes embodies the thoughts and feelings of a historic time period. A surge of artistic expression among African-Americans led the way to a movement that is now known as the Harlem Renaissance. Creative works depicting the social forecast of the day began to emerge. “Harlem” was written during this fascinating time and flawlessly incorporates this renaissance thinking into each line. In essence, the poem conveys a sense of grievance, yet also provides a hope to break the bonds that hinder the black community. By using a varying meter and rhyme scheme and also employing the use of simile and repetition, Hughes expertly portrays the attitudes of an entire social class. “Harlem” has no specifically consistent meter or rhyme…show more content…
The words “does,” “like,” and “or” are repeated consistently. This allows the reader to acknowledge the structure of each stanza but contributes to the audience’s awareness of the subject of the poem (a dream deferred) as well. It is also important to note alliteration found in some of the lines. In the first two lines, Hughes uses an alliterating d and then an alliterating s in lines three through four and six through nine. This draws attention to repetition and also adds to the cohesiveness of the poem. By far, the most obvious and significant aspect of “Harlem” can be found by the implantation of similes. Each simile used is imperative to understanding the true meaning behind the postponed or ended dream that Hughes references. Hughes implies that many obstacles and challenges exist which can defer a dream. For one, it may “dry up like a raisin in the sun.” Perhaps a dream can lose its livelihood and “dry up” to be soon forgotten. A dream can also “fester like a sore and then run.” The lines imply that a denied dream may constantly be on the mind and be a very uncomfortable subject. Hughes writes a dream can “stink like rotten meat,” which suggests a nauseating sense of
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